Friday, March 17, 2017

Budget 2018: America will eliminate funding for climate hysteria

For more than a decade, I've been urging the responsible people to stop their support and especially government funding for the climate hysteria, a political movement that pretends to be all about science even though it brutally violates even the basic principles of the scientific method and threatens the integrity of the institutionalized science, prosperity of whole countries, and the freedom of their citizens.

There have been partial victories that have made us smile at one moment or another. But up to 2007, it seemed clear that the movement was growing and after 2007-2009, whatever the exact date of the Peak Climate Alarm was, it still seemed extremely likely that the climate alarmists were here to stay and consolidate their influence – much like we thought that communists were here to stay in Czechoslovakia in the late 1980s.

Well, the victory of Donald Trump was the first event that seems to change the big picture and reverse the trends in major ways – the first sign that the climate hysteria could be unsustainable, after all, much like Nazism, eugenics, communism, and other fads currently residing at the dumping ground of history. We didn't know whether Ivanka Trump and Rex Tillerson would "allow" the U.S. president to do something that has been a not so negligible part of the campaign. But things look better again.

The Hill has told us about the "America First Budget Blueprint", a sketch of the U.S. budget for the year 2018. It seems that Donald Trump realizes that he, and not his charming daughter Ivanka, has the responsibility for the taxpayer money and greatness of the world's only superpower.

If you search for "climate" in that document, you will find the words six times, in these two paragraphs:
Eliminates the Global Climate Change Initiative and fulfills the President’s pledge to cease payments to the United Nations’ (UN) climate change programs by eliminating U.S. funding related to the Green Climate Fund and its two precursor Climate Investment Funds.

Discontinues funding for the Clean Power Plan, international climate change programs, climate change research and partnership programs, and related efforts—saving over $100 million for the American taxpayer compared to 2017 annualized CR levels. Consistent with the President’s America First Energy Plan, the Budget reorients EPA’s air program to protect the air we breathe without unduly burdening the American economy.
Not bad. So the plan really is for the U.S. to stop funding of the international organizations and similar things. There are some climate-hysteria-related programs that should be eliminated and some of them are already being eliminated. But you may see that the only figure that appears in the paragraphs above is $100 million. That's ludicrous because just the research and outreach etc. consume billions of dollars in the U.S. That's still negligible relatively to the cost (usually paid by private subjects) of the policies and regulations justified by the climate worries. I am pretty sure that those are comparable to $100 billion a year just in the U.S.

So I am afraid that Trump's folks have to dig deeper. Two days ago, Bloomberg wrote that
To Protect Climate Money, Obama Stashed It Where It’s Hard to Find
So there are almost certainly hundreds of millions of dollars spent by many departments where this spending doesn't belong. Aside from NOAA, NASA, State Department, Energy Department, EPA, and the Pentagon, one place where they should look is education. I would bet there are substantial amounts being paid by the U.S. government whose only purpose is to brainwash the schoolkids with the climate hysteria and fill the pockets of those who are doing such things. We've seen lots of terrifying examples of such brainwashed kids. Some of it could have happened spontaneously but some organized funding seems unavoidable in such cases.

Breitbart and The Hill also provided us with a very encouraging answer by the White House's Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to a female journalist. She asked about the possible reductions of funding for science, climate change, and related things.

Mulvaney preciously started by correcting her. One shouldn't conflate these two things – science and climate change. They are two very different things and they have to be treated separately. The Trump folks have analyzed the flows and realized that lots of government agencies are doing lots of things that are well beyond their core functions and many of these activities are redundantly replicated at many places. Those will be eliminated or at least merged and savings will be achieved. In particular, Mulvaney reminded everyone, the climate change funding is now officially considered to be a waste of the taxpayer money and in agreement with the remarks made by Donald Trump during the campaign, this whole part of the government should be abolished.

It sounds good enough. I recommend you to play the 1-minute video posted at the two websites.

These plans may ignite some angry reactions but I am actually not sure about it. A vast majority of the people who are professionally connected with the climate hysteria are spineless rent-seekers and they probably understand very well that the atmosphere has changed. So I think that instead of some vigorous protests, they will seek ways to make themselves compatible with the Trump administration and get some money from it, too.

It may make sense to make the transition smooth. Perhaps, Ivanka Trump should get some $50 million a year – and the permission to collect extra money from private donors – to fund some things related to the climate change research and closely related activities. The precise allocation could be decided with the help of a committee that would include representatives of the institutions where the climate change money has been flowing but also at least e.g. 30% of the think tanks and similar institutes that have studied the topic in the recent decade or so.

There needs to be some government-imposed representation of the "others" because the persistent funding for a certain viewpoint in the recent decades has completely distorted what the institutions think and say and it has seriously detached their rhetoric from the actual knowledge of state-of-the-art science as well as the common sense of most people who have thought about these matters.

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